Sadly, too many Americans these days have never ridden a horse. Happily, you can update your horseback status easily in the Black Hills. How long should a novice's first trail ride be? That depends your tolerance for a little backside soreness when you sit down for dinner later. But by no means should you let that deter you from enjoying Black Hills scenery from a saddle. One of the prettiest rides, through pines and past granite outcrops, is found just north of Custer, off highway 16/385, at Rockin R Trail Rides. You can choose rides lasting an hour, hour and-a-half, two hours, or half a day. Or you can throw caution to the South Dakota wind and arrange an overnight horseback adventure. Rockin R horses are gentle. No experience required to ride -- if you're age six or over, you're qualified.
Photo by Maggie Schneider